RALEIGH - N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance crews throughout the southeastern part of the state are out on the roads responding to the ice and snow that hit the region Tuesday night. Approximately half an inch of sleet fell on the roads and is covered by up to 8 inches of snow.
63 trucks have placed more than 1440 tons of salt and sand on the primary routes in NCDOT's Division Three, which includes Brunswick, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Sampson counties. Crews are hopeful to finish clearing the primary routes today and start on secondary routes Thursday.
Crews follow a pre-established order when removing snow and ice. They begin with interstate and four-lane divided primary routes, as well as some primary and secondary routes considered essential to the movement of intrastate traffic. These roads get the highest priority, because they carry the largest number of vehicles and serve as critical connections between cities and towns.
Next, crews clear U.S. and N.C. routes and paved secondary routes not already addressed. Then, they handle unpaved secondary routes. You can learn more about our storm response protocol by watching this video.
Motorists are encouraged to use extreme caution and remember these safety tips: Slow down; Bridges and overpasses freeze first; Put down the cell phone and focus on the road; Use only gentle pressure on both the accelerator and the brakes to avoid skidding; and Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or other drivers begin to slide.
You can also get emergency information from the N.C. Department of Public Safety at http://readync.org, and download the ReadyNC app to help you prepare for everything from road conditions to severe storms on a daily basis. It is available for free in the AppStore for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.
Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type "m.ncdot.gov" into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.